Good morning to you, Brother Ruff!
I want to give you a little feedback from outside the liturgist community. I am a laywoman, mother of six including one daughter who is gay and has left the Church, another daughter who is committed to the Church to the degree that she is paying her way through night school at the local seminary. Over the last 30 years I have taught Faith Formation, led Children’s Liturgy of the Word and sung in choir, so I guess I fall into the category of active laywoman.
Here is what I wanted to say to you: the introduction of the new translation is going to cause yet another fault line in the Church. Many (most?) pastors, liturgists, choir directors, music leaders, etc. seem to be making a good faith effort to bite the bullet and put a good face on things. Despite what personal reservations they may have, they are doing what they can to ease the transition. I realized this morning my irritation at this, a feeling that they have capitulated too soon. Coming from a large family, I’ve learned to keep my irritations to myself. Other people will not. To be quite clear, I expect we will not only see a split among parishes, as in, these parishes follow the new translation and those parishes don’t, but also within parishes. Some people will resent those seen as foisting the new translation upon them. Others will insist on respecting the authority of the Vatican. Pastors and staffs will be caught in the middle.
Most of what I’ve read on the Pray Tell site seems to have focused on the actual translations with additional discussion of the politics behind the translations. I think your contributors and readers are very sensitive to the concept that words have meaning. I believe that the switch to the new translation will be much more traumatic than the switch from Latin. For most people, the switch from Latin to the vernacular was a switch from pious gibberish (sorry – most people did not and do not understand Latin!) to a clear proclamation of the Good News. The message overrode any clumsy or ugly words. I’m afraid that the switch to the new translation will be seen as a distortion of the Good News meant to prop up the power of the clergy. I think that many people will not tolerate a perceived attempt to twist the liturgy to this purpose.
My own large, vibrant Vatican II parish was merged with a smaller, failing parish under the leadership of a priest dedicated to the “reform of the reform.” The result is an ongoing disaster. I fear the implementation of the new translation will be another, much larger disaster.
I don’t know what I expect you to do with this observation. I guess I’m just hoping that some additional early warning of the oncoming disaster might help some people prepare.
Thank you for all your good work.
Fulton, New York